The Art Fund launched an appeal to its members to raise money to purchase this painting.

The appeal was supported by personal pleas from the director of the National Gallery, C G Holmes, Claude Philips and Campbell Dodgson. The painting depicts Mary presenting a fearful Christ Child to the Magi. This work is only one of two upright works by Pieter Bruegel and his earliest containing large-scale figures. The Art Fund Trustees recognised that no other painting like this by Bruegel was ever likely to become available to the National Gallery and this has proved true.

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